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Silencing PC Noise

[noise of pc]

Isolation box to silence a computer

[new isomac pg]

add page for isobox, ISOMAC.

ISOMAC computer isolation box - this is it. Putting a PC in the closet also works well.

Silent vent for computer enclosure?

>I built a cabinet to put my computer in, so I don't have to listen to the fans and drives hum. Used a little weather stripping around the door to seal it in, and it is nice and quiet now. Of course, the heat builds up inside, not to fatal levels, but enough that you'd want to cool it off in there.

>I only cut a small hole for the cabling, and I figure I need a vent to allow some convective flow through the cabinet to provide adequate cooling.

>So, how to create a vent that allows some airflow, yet provides lots of muffling to keep the noise inside the box? I was thinking of cutting a series of small perforations, and covering that with several layers of air-filter type foam. Hopefully, that might provide enough muffling to keep the noise down.

>The other thing I can think of is to put a large aluminum heatsink extrusion on the back, so to form a heat exchanger with the inside/outside air. That would keep the noise transmission down as well, but I'm not sure how effective that might be.

>I figured maybe somebody has done this before.

(thread has more good stuff)

>The day I received my 30 foot keyboard, monitor, and mouse extensions and banished the CPU to an understair closet adjacent to the studio is still exciting to remember. Heavenly silence. I fabricated a small (10" x 24") plug-door for access to the drives, so there is no inconvenience at all. Lucky to have the physical layout to do this. If you can create a similar situation, even with significant effort, you will never regret it. Steve King

>Me Too! (but add lightpipe, wordclock, miniplug comp speaker extender, and network cable.) I also cut a vent hole in the top of the closet and installed a quiet vent fan and power into the closet and like you said....HEAVENLY SILENCE!!!!!! Its a wonderful thing.

[pc silencing]

Silent Systems - quiet your computer fans and drives

Quiet computer guide

[pc silencing]

alt.sys.pc-clone.dell - Subject: You want quiet, here is quiet....

There are all manner of acoustical measures to be taken with computers. Why suffer? All this stuff is easily available. I won't live with a noisy box, and here's some of the info I've gathered over the years.

Commodity box builders like Dell and Gateway do a good job, but they have their eye on cost. You will never get a totally silent system from them.

Silent Systems division of Molex has a number of components, including their Silent Drive enclosure. Limited to 5400Rpm drives.

For faster drives, the Ultimate Hard Drive Cooler is a good option. For most 7200Rpm ATA drives, just remove the fans, the heat sink will be plenty as long as it's not buried in a corner of the case.


Millisec specializes in high performance chassis cooling equipment (usually noisy), but their drive cooler and foam air cleaners are great for sound damping. Just make sure you keep the air cleaner clean. They also have a selection of round wire finger quards for fans. See my comments on the Antec power supply for why this is important. The also offer a couple Sunon fans that a quieter than the ones normally found, but the also flow less air.

There are also removable drive modules and shock absorbing damped mounting brackets from Megahaus. The aluminum drive modules help cooling, and they damp drive noise. I have found the shock absorbing bracket isolates the drive so that vibration doesn't resonate through the chassis.


Fan noise can be dealt with as well. Using multiple quiet fans will be quieter than one noisy fan. The quietest fans are the Panaflo models.


Find the specs on Panaflo fan you need on their site. As a rule of thumb, I try to keep everything on my computer below 30db. Some of these fans are quieter than that, even in the low 20's. They are available from:


Antec makes good and inexpensive power supplies that are as quiet as PC Power. They have excellent regulation (top choice for fussy Athlon systems as a result), and are widely available. A 250W costs $31. Techstore stocks them and has good prices.


They have variable speed fans, so when the system doesn't need the fan spinning full speed, it doesn't. Even at full speed, they are very quiet, partially because they use a plated round-wire finger guard, as opposed to the usual stampted metal guards that make a whistle as the air passes over the sharp edges.

Both the Zippy/Emac and Sparkle are good ways to go, they are quiet, high quality, and not unreasonably prices. Net Express has both.


PC Power & Cooling sells a line called Silencer. They are premium supplies made for PC Power by Zippy/Emacs (same as Dell), and are somewhat expensive at $75 for a 235W.


I use a variety of tricks, but one of my favorites inlvolves using cases with large fans, usually 92mm as opposed to the normal 80mm, and I then use the Panaflow low speed fans. I get more airflow than with the 80mm, and the noise is both less, and of a lower frequency. The larger 92mm fans are turning much slower.

The commonly used Sunon 80mm case fan turns at 3200Rpm, and generates 36.5db with airflow of 42CFM. By contrast, a Panaflo 92mm fan runs at 2400Rpm, and generates 30db while delivering 48CFM. While 6db difference may not sound like much, it's a huge difference. Also, the sound is at a lower frequency, as the fan is turning 25% slower.

Cases with 92mm and 120mm fans are easy enough to find. I like the Lite-on an Chenbro (both Itel approved chassis vendors). Both make cases that come with larger fans.

-- jm

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